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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jul;55(7):1038-43.

The new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit: an estimation of its effect on prescription drug costs in a Medicare population with atrial fibrillation.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare prescription drug cost savings under the most commonly selected Medicare Part D prescription plan in 2006 with savings under the Medicare standard benefit and with drug costs assuming no coverage in an elderly cohort of patients.

DESIGN:

Inception cohort study.

SETTING:

An academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Four hundred seventy-two patients aged 65 and older who were followed as part of a larger study assessing stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

MEASUREMENTS:

Prescription drug expenditures were calculated for each patient in the cohort under three conditions: the 2006 AARP-endorsed prescription drug plan, the Medicare standard benefit, and no prescription drug coverage.

RESULTS:

Total prescriptions drug costs were lower under the AARP plan, yet patients paid a similar percentage of total costs under the AARP plan and the Medicare standard benefit. Using different cost assessments, 27% to 46% of patients entered the "doughnut hole" in the AARP plan, and 3% to 11% emerged to receive catastrophic coverage.

CONCLUSION:

Both the AARP-sponsored and standard Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit programs offer significant savings to enrollees. A greater savings is achieved under the private AARP drug insurance plan, largely due to greater discounts reflected in the negotiated drug prices. A substantial portion of enrollees enter but do not emerge from the coverage gap.

PMID:
17608876
PMCID:
PMC4067009
DOI:
10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01285.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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